Last month, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation put out a video as part of a “Just Say Hi!” campaign. You can see the video here.
It’s terrible. I get it, I get it…it’s well intended. But you know what they say about good intentions.
One blog post is making the rounds, entitled “Don’t you dare just say hi” and it’s very good. Albeit long. Her passionate post is long, and a rant, which is fine. I love a good rant. I shared her post on my Facebook walls, and still, got a few “I don’t get it…I mean, what’s wrong with encouraging communication?”
Ok, so I’m going to try to be more succinct than the long ranty post.
Are disabled people considered so sub-human, that we have to tell people to talk to them? And in our worst nightmare, is the situation so bad that even the CP Foundation doesn’t realize this?
Here, look at this graphic:
Now do you get it? If you substitute any other race or ethnic group into this scenario…it’s just….wrong. We don’t say “How do I start a conversation with a black person?” “How do I start a conversation with a Jewish person?” Please tell me oh wise ones Gayle King and Mario Batali…how do I start a conversation with a gay person?
“Just say hi.”
Right, right, well intended, I get it. I could go on a rant myself…I have seen more than my fair share of “bless you” and “what’s wrong with him” when I’m out with my son. But I do not want random strangers walking up to us and saying “hi!” just because they saw some video. We don’t want to be your charity. Disability Tourism at it’s finest. “Just stopping by to say hi!”
How about you just treat our families like you treat all other families?